INDIANAPOLIS – The deadline is quickly approaching to sign up for the 21st Century Scholars program. It helps Hoosier students afford going to college. In fact, there are nearly 100,000 students enrolled in this program today.
Mario Flores-Gaspar made the promise he was going to go to college in middle school. Now he’s set to graduate from Purdue University with a major in Physics.
“I don’t think I would have gone to college if it wasn’t for that scholarship,” said Flores-Gaspar.
In the program’s 30 years, the scholarship has helped thousands of Hoosier students like him prepare for higher education and afford it.
“I know my parents had to work a lot just to save money as well,” said Flores-Gaspar, “I know how big of a time commitment, a sacrifice it is. So, having that privilege to not have to worry about finances as much is really helpful.”
“It’s getting students to know early on, that they can have that opportunity,” said Charlee Beasor, the Associate Commissioner for Communication and Outreach for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, “We empower students to know that while they’re in 7th and 8th grade, that they can, and they will be able to go and afford college as long as they work hard.”
The deadline to sign up for the program is June 30th. Families have to qualify for the scholarship based on their income.
“Even if you don’t think you qualify, go ahead, and apply because things change, and you just never know. It’s better to be enrolled than not,” said Beasor.
Then, students receive up to four years of up to 100 percent tuition coverage as long as they keep up with the requirements.
According to Learn More Indiana, here are the requirements:
- Graduate from a state-accredited Indiana high school.
- Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Earn a minimum of a Core 40 diploma.
- Complete all 12 high school Scholar Success Program requirements and track them in ScholarTrack by high school graduation.
- Apply to and be admitted to an eligible Indiana college, university or proprietary school as a high school senior.
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15 as a high school senior and each year thereafter until college graduation.
- Complete the college Scholar Success Program each year of college to renew your scholarship.
- Complete at least 30 credit hours each year of college.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards established by your college.
- Maintain Indiana residency.
- Do not do drugs, commit a crime or delinquent act, or consume alcohol before reaching the legal drinking age.
“Students have to graduate with a 2.5 GPA, we also require them to complete the scholar success program,” explained Beasor, “Like watch a college video on how to pay for financial aid, file the FAFSA, visit a campus.”
As Indiana’s college-going rate continues to decline, falling to 59 percent. Data shows, it’s the complete opposite for 21st Century Scholars.
“They are the ones that are closing the gap for Indiana right now,” said Beasor, “88 percent of scholars go to college which is quite higher than the statewide college going average right now.”
As for the deadline if you miss it unfortunately you’re out of luck. While there are other financial aid opportunities, it’s this program, that students like Mario credit for his success.
“It was a great safety net,” he said.
Again, the deadline to apply for your 7th and 8th graders is June 30th. You can do so by contacting your child’s school or the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
For more information, click here.